Landlords Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions we receive from Landlords.
Q: Why should I use a managing agent?
A: Sometimes you will not have the time or legal experience to deal with the day to day management of your property. You just might not want the hassle and strain tackling rent arrears and tenancy issues when they arise and that's why it is wise to enlist an Award winning Accreditated Letting Agent like ourselves to deal with this.
Q: Why should I have an inventory/condition report?
A: It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete and efficient service to the landlord, we can arrange for an associate to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition at a cost. With the exclusion of "fair wear & tear", any damage to the property would in the first instance be covered by the tenant‟s security deposit. Assuming appropriate insurance is in place, extensive damage would be covered by the relevant policy.
Q: Why do I need an EPC?
A: From 4th January 2009, it is a legal requirement for all landlords in Scotland to provide their tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when starting a new tenancy. If you don't you run the risk of being fined for each rental property you own which does not have a certificate. The certificates last 10 years. This can either be arranged by the landlord themselves or by us. Generally, we can provide this service to our landlords at a discounted rate.
Q: What are the landlord's obligations surrounding Gas?
A: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994, all gas appliances in tenanted premises must be checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months, by a GAS SAFE registered gas engineer, and a safety certificate issued. Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, of defects identified, and of any remedial action taken. This can either be arranged by the landlord themselves or by us. Generally, we can provide this service to our landlords at a discounted rate.
Q: What are the landlord's obligations regarding electrical safety
A: Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and other regulations, electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe. You should therefore make a visual check to ensure that all electrical fittings, equipment and leads appear completely safe and undamaged, and arrange for a qualified electrician to deal with any faults that are discovered. Generally, we can provide this service to our landlords at a discounted rate. Landlords can themselves or through ourselves, arrange for a "PAT‟ test on electrical equipment within the property. This PAT test certifies that each "portable‟ appliance is electrically safe.
Q: What is a Quarterly Inspection?
A: This is a regular check on a property to ensure it is being looked after, with a report generated that can be sent to the Landlord.
Q: What is Landlord Registration (Scotland Only)
A: From the 30th April, 2006 almost all private landlords in Scotland must apply for registration with their local authority. The local authority must be satisfied that they are fit and proper persons to let property, before registering them. Visit www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk for more info.
Q: What happens if my tenant doesn't pay?
A: It is sound practice for the Landlord to insure himself against non-payment of rent – we can arrange this through our preferred partners Homelet. Please contact us for more info.
Q: What happens if the tenant damages my property?
A: We will normally take a security deposit at the start of the tenancy which should generally cover this
Q: What happens to the deposit?
A: The deposit will be kept in a government approved custodial scheme protecting it in case insolvency.
Q: How can I get my tenant out?
A: Normally legal action is necessary if your tenant will not vacate when required and we can help you with this.
Q: How do I check my furniture is compliant?
A: The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. In practice, items that comply will have a suitable permanent label attached.
Q: Does a landlord need to pay tax?
A: All Landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income whether UK based or overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue's website www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm